Preview: Southport v Harriers
Harriers head north this evening to face Southport in front of the TV cameras looking to bounce back from last weekedn's FA Cup disappointment.
Once again resources will be stretched for Steve Burr; Aaron Griffiths and Ollie Thorne are suspended, Keith Briggs was rushed back from injury and lasted little more than half an hour against York before breaking down and so is a doubt for this evening as is Jack Byrne who missed the FA Cup game. On the plus side, however, Marc Williams is available again after being prevented from playing against York by parent club Wrexham.
After a promising start to the season where they suffered just one defeat in the first six games Southport's form has dropped and they've slipped down the table from 5th to 19th and they have won just one of the last eleven in the league. They did make progress in the FA Cup, though, winning 2-1 at Wrexham and earning themselves a plum home tie in the next round against Sheffield Wednesday. Manager Liam Watson will be without two players tonight: Alan Moogan is suspended and Shaun Gray has a knee injury.
The teams have already met this season, Southport winning a seven-goal thriller 4-3 at Aggborough. Generally, though, Harriers have a good record against Southport and are unbeaten in their last five Conference visits to Haig Avenue and have won five and lost just three of eleven previous games there while overall have won eleven and drawn five of 22 games.
I expect Harriers to line-up as follows (4-4-2): Lewis; Vaughan, Mike Williams, Briscoe, Albrighton; Blair, McPhee, Shaw, Gittings; Morris, Marc Williams.
Subs (from): Hankin, Wright, Sharpe, Thompson-Brown, Stevens.
Missing (injured): Briggs, Byrne.
Missing (suspended): Griffiths, Thorne.
Missing (on loan): Hadley.
The referee this evening will be Dean Mohareb from Cheshire. This will his seventh time in charge of a Harriers game and second this season. Earlier this season he was in the middle of the 2-2 draw with Tamworth while last season he was in charge of the FA Cup debacle at Fleetwood. Overall he has overseen two Harriers wins, two draws and two defeats.
This evening's weather is forecast to be unpleasant with wind and heavy rain predicted throughout the game and a temperature around 13°C